Cedar Mountain (1999-2008)

The Cedar Mountain Initiative (CMI)

The goals of Cedar Mountain Initiative (CMI) are to increase the use of scientific information in decisions that affect wildlife and their habitats, and enhance the role of local communities in natural resource policy decisions that affect their culture and socioeconomic well-being.

In 1999, the Utah Legislature allocated ongoing funds to the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station to support the CMI. The purpose of the initiative was to conduct "research to determine how rangeland may be managed to support both livestock and wildlife and investigate the replacement of aspen by conifers." A multidisciplinary team of scientists, including representatives from Range Science, Animal Science, Wildlife Biology, Rural Sociology, and Forestry were assembled to conduct this research program using a system approach.

Major objectives were:

1. Identify optimal plant communities for potential end uses, e.g. cattle, sheep, elk, deer, water, avifauna, etc.
2. Ascertain ecological sustainability of mixed livestock-wildlife enterprises and associated plant-soil complexes.
3. Provide management techniques to create optimal plant communities that will sustain desired combinations of enterprises.


  1. Loss of livestock forage as conifers replace historic aspen stands
  2. Restoration of aspen in different stages of mortality in southern Utah
  3. The restoration of degraded tall forb rangelands of the Intermountain West
  4. Public perceptions regarding livestock grazing and wildlife: A survey of stakeholders in the Intermountain West
  5. Livestock/wildlife interactions on aspen rangelands
  6. Effects of pocket gophers on aspen regeneration and herbaceous vegetation in


Landowners’ adoption of livestock and range management innovations


Cedar Mountain Initiative Citizens Liaision Committee